What is it?
Up to 85 per cent of us suffer from acne between the ages of 12 and 25. Acne Vulgaris is the most common form, appearing in a variety of undesirable guises including blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.
What causes it?
The exact cause is still unknown. It has been suggested that acne may be caused if your body experiences an increase in testosterone, which, in turn, causes the sebaceous glands to become inflamed, leading to greater skin cell and sebum production. These two processes allow the bacteria to thrive potentially leading to acne.
How to get rid of it
In severe cases your GP can prescribe antibiotics or the Pill to clear things up. But with various side-effects neither are desirable long-term if you're taking them purely for acne, so Shabir Daya, co-founder of VictoriaHealth.com, believes in treating it with natural supplements. “Acne arises from within the body so it makes sense to treat the problems within the body. Although science tells us that diet has no correlation to acne, I believe that because gluten intolerance is widespread it can make a difference, so it makes sense to try to avoid gluten for a couple of months and see if your acne improves. Changing your lifestyle and diet will have a major impact on your skin.“
Products to try
Antiac Acne Cleansing Spray (£9.99 for 50ml, www.salcuranaturalskincare.com) was voted the best acne product by a panel of testers on Channel 4's Embarrassing Bodies. Packed with natural anti-blemish properties such as tea-tree, sandalwood, manuka and nerolina oils to kill bacteria and aloe and sea buckthorn to reduce inflammation, it provides a natural and effective solution for problem skin.
Bliss No Zit Sherlock Complete Clarifying System, £25, blissworld.co.uk is a fast-acting daily regimen for pimple-prone skin that helps to treat and repair acne blemishes. Including a cleanser/toner, correcting serum and oil control moisturiser, it uses salicylic acid to break up dead skin cells and oil and natural probiotics to boost the skin's antibacterial defences.
iS Clinical Active Serum, £59 for 15ml, www.victoriahealth.com, is designed to improve overall skin quality. You'll feel an "active" tingling sensation as the formula absorbs deep within the dermal layers.
Pro-Heal Serum Advanced+, £108 for 30ml, www.victoriahealth.com, is particularly good for cystic acne, offering antioxidant protection and healing properties. The science part is something to do with L ascorbic acid (scientifically advanced Vitamin C), olive leaf extract, and pure vitamin E and A. Whatever. It definitely reduces inflammation.